Traveling in the Summer with Type 1 Diabetes

Gina Capone Health Guide
  • Summer is over but, during the summer months and going on vacation to hot places, pretty much stinks when you have diabetes, it really gets on my nerves.


    The hassle of remembering to bring my meter, extra juice, extra supplies in case my infusion set pops out, lunch, water, testing before you go in the water, testing after you come out, disconnecting the pump, reconnecting the pump, having to bolus after I come out of the water because I was in too long, getting hypoglycemia because I bolused and swam too much the second and third time I went back in the water,  making sure my pump isn't in direct sunlight. And...Don't forget sunstroke....Ughh it's an exhausting process. 

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    Usually, I try NOT to go to the beach too much which is a shame because before I was diagnosed I lived at the beach every summer.


    I did give it a whirl a couple of times this year, first on my honeymoon in April to St. Lucia. I struggled with a lot of highs. But, I WAS on my honeymoon so I tried not to let it bother me too much. I survived the full 10 days, and it wasn't too bad. I had my new hubby to hold my hand the whole way which was nice.


    The second beach day was in the Hampton Bays on Long Island, NY. I actually survived another beach day in the same year. And my blood sugars stayed stable the whole day! Wowza!


    The finger stick


    Finger Stick


    The result



    The test strips that fell all over the blanket! There actually were a lot more than this. I didn't want you all to think I was nasty. haha



    So, I came to the conclusion that going to the beach was do-able twice this year for me. Maybe next year I will try for three beach days! ha ha.


    Just a reminder to everyone that if you do go to the beach with a pump, I recommend carrying the following with you. (You don't have to follow my recommendations, you can always make your own beach day checklist!  Let me know if I forgot anything!)

    • Bring lunch and your own snacks this way you know how many carbs you will be eating.

    • Glucose tabs or any fast acting carb for hypoglycemia.

    • An insulin pen of humalog or lantus in case your pump craps out or the insulin loses potency.
    • Extra infusion sets and reservoirs if your infusion comes out.
    • Three reservoirs for the insulin pump
    • I.V. prep wipes and alcohol for site changes and to get sand off your hands to check your blood.
    • Batteries for the pump.
    • Extra boxes of test strips.
    • Wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace.

    • Glucagon

    • Sunscreen

    • Water

Published On: September 15, 2008